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Iehl and Marinho on Cusp of the Quarter-Finals
Damien Iehl, French Match Racing Team, in action during the first day of qualyfing for the French Match Race. Photo by Chris Davies / WMRT. Click on image to enlarge.

Match Race France Marseille, France: Local sailor Damien Iehl and the Portugese wildcard Alvaro Marinho put in sublime performances on the opening day of the 2011 World Match Racing Tour at Match Race France to top the scoreboard and close in on a place in the Quarter-Finals.

Amongst both Iehl and Marinho's victims was fellow Frenchman Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan, a man who grabbed the headlines in the morning with victories against three Tour Card Holders tipped as title contenders - Williams, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino and Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners Racing Team. A defeat for Iehl against Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and against Bruni for Marinho were to be the only blemishes on their 5-1 scorelines.

An elated Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team, added: "I can say this is our best day on the World Match Racing Tour. We need to keep [this up]. We are one of the less experienced crew here but to have a couple of nice wins against those guys is rewarding."

Standings After First Qualifying Session:
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 5-1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 5-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Mascalzone Latino 4-2
Bertrand Pace (FRA) Aleph Sailing Team 4-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 3-3
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Extreme Team Morbihan 3-4
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave Muscat 2-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 2-3
Jesper Radich (DEN) Adrian Lee & Partners 2-4
Alexis Littoz-Baritel (FRA) Savoie Mont Blanc 1-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 0-6

Olympic Sailing Circus Continues
During the International Sailing Federation's mid-year meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Olympic sailing made one step forward. Unfortunately, it also took three steps back.

Here's the good news: the final slate for Rio 2016 includes a women's skiff, one of the few places where what's "good for TV" and what's "good for athletes" dovetail.

Step Back #1: Two 470 Medals

The 2016 slate has reverted to a men's and a women's medal in the 470, instead of the single "mixed gender" medal approved in November 2010. This step back to a traditional Olympic roster (along with the retention of the "men's heavyweight dinghy," aka Finn) shows how Eurocentric the thinking remains - at a supposedly International Sailing Federation.

Step Back #2: Eliminating keelboats, or throwing out the baby with the bathwater

What really fries me is the elimination of the women's keelboat, the Elliott 6m.

The Elliott 6m was specifically developed to be the supplied equipment for women's match racing in 2012. The boats are fun to sail (much more so than the stodgy Yngling), fun to watch (ditto), and offer a modern platform for keelboat racing, the segment of our sport with the largest participation.

For the past three and a half years, national sailing programs have purchased pairs or fleets of these exciting boats, a significant investment even for larger countries. ISAF has just waved two middle fingers at all those programs - especially 2016 Games host Brazil, which took delivery of their Elliotts on the same day as this final vote.

Step Back #3: ISAF reverts to its bad old ways
Last November, ISAF passed a new system of Olympic voting designed to reduce backroom deals (read "Olympic Sailing: Planning Ahead for 2016"). Six months later, the Executive Committee waffled, blocked the Events Committee's recommendation, and then voted in favor of another slate altogether.

Carol Cronan's full article in her blog:

RC44 Austria Cup
Photo by Nico Martinez, Click on image for photo gallery.

RC44 Austria Cup Gmunden, Austria.The RC44 class had a mix of world class match racers along with match race novices fighting it out for honours at the RC44 Austria Cup today.

Mathieu Richard (FRA) was runner up at the 2010 World Match Racing Tour, today he was at the helm of the new Aleph Sailing Team's RC44. He finished the day with two wins, but lost to on form boats - Team Aqua and ORACLE Racing.

It was Russell Coutts steering ORACLE Racing who finished the day undefeated, winning three tough matches against Katusha, with Paul Cayard at the helm, Aleph and Team Aqua.

The format now changes to fleet racing for the remaining four days of the event. Katusha leads the series, but tactician Paul Cayard is aware that sailing on a lake surrounded by mountains will be full of snakes and ladders. "Leading one event doesn't really mean much here, all the boats are really competitive and very equal. Racing in Lake Traunsee is always very difficult, the conditions are often a bit unstable and you need to take that in to account when you're doing your tactics, there will be 10 or 12 races over the next few days maybe more, so you just have to try to avoid really bad finishes and try to realise that the race is never be over until it's over and hang tough."

The RC44 class also announced a new partnership today with Russian vodka brand Beluga.

The relationship between Beluga and RC44 started in October 2010, when the Synergy Russian Sailing Team backed by Beluga made its debut in RC44 Championship Tour.

Match Racing Series Total

1. Team Aqua (GBR) Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton - 8
2. ORACLE Racing (USA) Steve Howe / Russell Coutts - 7
3. Katusha (RUS) Gennady Timchenko / Paul Cayard - 6
4. Team Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah / Michelle Ivaldi - 6
5. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist / Morgan Larson - 6
6. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero /Jose Ponce-4
7. No Way Back (NED) Peiter Heerema /Tom Slingsby - 3
8. Peninsula Petroluem (GBR) John Bassadone / Inaki Castaner - 3
9. Synergy (RUS) Zavadnikov Valentin / Evgeniy Neugodnikov - 3
10. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy / Peter Evans - 3
11. Team Nika (RUS) Vladimir Prosikhin / Tomislav Basic - 2
12. Aleph Sailing Team (FRA) Hugues Lepic / Mathieu Richard - 2
13. AEZ (AUS) Rene Mangold / Christian Binder - 1

Follow the racing each day through the live video stream visit

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603 Pre-Entries For Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011
Medemblik, Netherlands: Two weeks prior to the Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011, the Dutch World Cup for Olympic and Paralympic sailing in Medemblik, the organization received 603 entries. Including six winners of 2010 and a new record of 61 nationalities. The debut of the Paralympic Sonar class takes a little longer, due to lack of registrations. Meanwhile, the match racing crews continue their training sessions on the IJsselmeer, despite the loss of Olympic status of their class in 2016.

'We obviously followed the ISAF Mid Year Meeting in St. Petersburg with great interest,' said Arjen Rahusen, Chairman of the Organizing Committee. 'We look forward to the return of the catamarans and to even more high performance spectacle with skiff sailors. On the other hand, we regret the loss of the keel boats. As an organization we will miss the audience-friendly action of the match racing.'

In the final weekend of May 29 and 28 all Medal Races will be broadcasted live, both by direct television images as well as tracing and tracking. The system follows the positions of the boats and shows them on a map on the Delta Lloyd Regatta website by using 2D and 3D visualization. GPS technology is used. Not only the position is shown on the website but also speed, rankings, routings, buoy times and distance. -- Diana Bogaards

Ian Williams Wins VIII Open De Espana
Calpe, Spain: Ian Williams (GBR) defeated Pierre-Antonie Morvan (FRA) 3-0 in the Final of the Open de Espana in Calpe after defeating Phil Robertson (NZL) 3-0 in the semi-final. Ian Williams was definitely on a roll on Saturday in Calpe. Not only did he continue his winning streak from Friday, he did it with great form. Going into the event's closing day, he and Pierre-Antoine Morvan had a 2-0 lead over their respective semifinal opponents, Philip Robertson and Simone Ferrarese.

Although intense, especially in the prestarts, the three final races lacked the drama of the semifinals and with a brief exception in the second race, Williams had a commanding lead. All three of his starts were perfect and it seemed that in every beat, he would extend his lead over Pierre-Antoine Morvan. After rounding the first weather mark of the second race in the lead, Williams and his crew had a difficult spinnaker hoist, losing precious seconds and meters that Morvan quickly took advantage of. However, Williams showed his strong form once again by forcing a penalty on his opponent down the run, regaining the lead. From that point there was nothing the French could do. Williams clearly dominated all three races and won a well-deserved ticket to St Moritz Match Race.

1. Ian Williams (GBR)
2. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)
3. Philip Robertson (NZL)
4. Simone Ferrarese (ITA)
5. Keith Swinton (AUS)
6. Bertrand Pace (FRA)
7. Evan Walker (AUS)
8. Staffan Lindberg (FIN)
9. Manuel Weiller vidal (ESP)
10. Reuben Corbett (NZL)
11. Bjorn Hansen (SWE)
12. Alvaro Marinho (POR)

From the ISAF:

ISAF Nations Cup Regional Final - Oceania (Open & Women)
Sydney, Australia: Six teams will gather tomorrow at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia for their practice session for the ISAF Nations Cup 2011 Regional Final Oceania, sailing in the Elliott 6.0m boats. Racing commences on Thursday 12 May and concludes on Saturday 14 May.

Three teams representing Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia will compete in the Open division, with three teams from Australia, New Zealand and Japan competing in the Women's division.

Laurie Jury (NZL) and his crew of Logan Fraser and Michael Edmonds are the highest ISAF ranked open team at #29 in the world. Jury recently finished fourth in the Korea Match Cup qualifier earlier this month and placed first in the New Zealand qualifier in March this year. He has also competed in several European regattas last year.

Evan Walker (AUS) is the highest ranked Australian and second highest ranked for this event (43). Walker qualified for this event after winning the Australian Match Racing Championship in November last year with a mixed crew that included Olivia Price, Amanda Scrivenor and Jack Hubbard.

Olivia Price (AUS) is the highest ranked women's skipper at #61, and will sail with Nina Curtis, Hayley Outteridge and Rayshele Martin for this event. Price is a member of the Australian Women's Match Racing team in training for the 2012 Olympics, and won the CYCA's Marinassess Women's Match Racing regatta with fellow AWMRT team members Nicky Souter, Curtis and Olympian Karyn Gojnich in February this year. Price qualified for this event after finishing second in the Australian Women's Match Racing Championship to New Zealand's Stephanie Hazard.

The Nations Cup encompasses a series of eight Regional Finals from March to July 2011, from which the top team will qualify for the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, which will take place in Sheboygan, USA from 13-18 September 2011.

Nations Cup Microsite.


Dubarry Storm - Style Over Fashion
Fashion's a funny thing. Everyone likes to make a statement but what does a jacket with spandex epaulettes, chainmail pockets and a dog motif say about you that you wouldn't mind being repeated? What if there was a jacket that did the basics well, a jacket that looks good and keeps you warm in the cold and dry in the rain? Meet the Dubarry Storm, featuring a waterproof shell and an inner storm flap to keep the weather out, and a polarfleece lining and a chin guard to keep you warm. Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.

Mirabaud LX Takes Off with New Wing Mast
Photo by Juerg Kaufmann/ Mirabaud LX 2011. Click on image to enlarge.

Mirabaud Geneva, Switzerland: Thomas Jundt, the Geneva based sailor and engineer, unveiled the 2011 version of his experimental foiler, Mirabaud LX, at the Societe Nautique de Geneve on Wednesday evening.

The radical foiler, in addition to its foils and carbon fibre structure, now features an innovative new wing mast comparable - relatively speaking - to the one that recently won the America's Cup. It also features solid carbon rigging, similar to the "Little America's Cup" C-Class yachts.

"I have been monitoring the evolution of wing masts for years," said Thomas Jundt. "And now, thanks to significant advancement in know-how and materials, it has become feasible to mount one on this sort of platform. Early trials on Lake Geneva over the past few weeks have been conclusive and we are keen to start the new racing season and to attempt to set some records."

Mirabaud LX is the second boat on Lake Geneva to feature a wing mast, Philippe Stern tried it 19 years ago on his famous Altair XII.

Mirabaud LX won its category at the 2010 International Speed Week in Weymouth where it notched up an average of 23.24 knots, with a peak of 25.8, over 500 metres. The foiler also shattered the Geneva-Rolle-Geneva record in 2009 with a time of 3h43'47" in the monohull class. An historic victory!

This year, Thomas Jundt will sail with his usual crew made up of helmsman and coach Antoine Ravonel and bowman, Eric Gobet.

Mirabaud LX technical specifications:

Length overall: 10m
Hull length: 8.5m
Beam overall: 5.4m
Wing area: 17m2
Weight of the wing: 29kg
Upwind sail area: 26m2
Downwind sail area: 49m2
Displacement: 170kg (25kg of foils)

Three Blue Hulls Steal The Show
With torrential rain forecast for both days over the weekend 7-8 May, it was with some trepidation and armed with full sets of wet weather gear that competitors and the Race Committee cast off from the Royal Southern YC in Hamble for the 40.7 National Championships. The weather turned out to be kind, providing a good steady breeze and dry conditions throughout the Championships. The weekend saw some very close racing with just one point between the top three boats. A long-awaited national Championship win for Nicolas Gaumont-Prat and his crew on Tradition Philiosphie IV was well deserved.

Day 1 saw the Principal Race Officer Jamie Wilkinson and his team set up a windward/leeward course close to Royal Southern buoy in a steady south east breeze. Four short sharp races were run back to back keeping competitors on their toes.

Sunday brought with it a strengthening breeze and a swing south west so a longer windward/leeward course was set with a tidal offset included to ensure the competitors got a good battle on both the beat and the run.

Results overall
1st - Tradition Philosophie IV - Nicolas Gaumont-Prat
2nd - Euphorix - Paul Dentskevich
3rd - Trustmarque Playing Around - Peter Robson

Otte, Haven and Oost Win European Yngling Championship
The 2011 edition of the European Springtime Yngling Championship,organised by Fraglia Vela Riva, Italy, came to a close over the weekend with all eight scheduled races completed.

Four days of sun and winds provided the perfect conditions for a great Championship hard-fought to the very end.

The Dutch crew of Thomas Otte, Hidde-Jan Haven and Sander Oost held the lead from the second day and had already won the championship ahead of the final race so there was no need for them to race.

The Slovenian crew of Bostjan Antoncic, Gennadi Strakh and Mitja Nevecny, five points behind, managed to hold on to second place coming in third in the final race.

Winds on the final day were a little lighter than the previous days (6-7 m/sec). With a final win in today's race the Dutch crew of Maarten Jamin, Jaap Smolders and Menno Berens took third place overtaking the Danish crew of Anders Gotschalk, Jonas Nittergard and Brendstring who dropped into fourth place after finishing 14th in the final race.

Altogether there were six nations in the top ten.

Final top five:

1. Tom Otte / Mark Haven / Oost Sander, NED, 21 points
2. Bostjan Antoncic / Gennadi Strakh / Mitja Nevecny, SLO, 26
3. Maarten Jamin / Jaap Smolders / Menno Berens, NED, 28
4. Anders Goschalk / Jonas Nittegard / Henrik Brendstring, DEN, 33
5. Wolfgana Riha / Georg Skolaut / Thomas Postel, AUT, 35

Rockley Watersports 2011 Airline Regatta
The 2011 World Airline Sailing Regatta was held at Rockley Watersports' Rockley Point Sailing Centre in Poole Harbour, Dorset on the 6th and 7th May. This longstanding event, which the British Airways sailing club, Silver Wing, has arranged this year, has been run each year since 1974.

The event, sponsored by Highland Spring, comprised of a total of eight teams, each of which fielded six sailors and included staff teams from eight airlines including Lufthansa, KLM, Finn Air, United Airlines and Air Canada.

The closely fought regatta took place over two days of highly competitive sailing in RS Vision double-handed dinghies. Rockley, together with RS Sailboats, provided all the 8 matched sailing dinghies and Principal Race Officer as well as support boats and coaching staff.

Poole Pottery provided unique commemorative plates for each of the teams, with the results of the 2011 Airline Regatta as follows:

1st Finn Air
2nd Lufthansa
3rd SAS
4th British Airways
5th Air Canada
6th KLM
7th Austrian Airlines
8th United Airlines

General Tapioca Hits The Road. Literally.
Click on image to enlarge.

General Tapioca Oops! After coming out into the world after a significant overhaul General Tapioca took a short detour with a long lasting effect last Wednesday afternoon in Newport, Belgium. The well known half ton was heading to France to compete for the Obelix Trophy, but instead will be staying in Brussels for a lot of repairs including a gaping hole on the starboard side. However, don't count them out for good. "The Half Ton Cup in Cowes is difficult to achieve, but we're going to try, " said skipper Philippe Bilat on the phone.

From Cruising Compass:

Original story in (Dutch):

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The Last Word
I don't think anybody's continually happy except idiots. You have to have little moments of depression. -- Rube Goldberg

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